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Not with a bang but a whimper: J.A. Happ-ens to get skunked in 1-0 loss

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Royals 1 Blue Jays 0

Two. That's how many hits the Jays managed tonight: a ground ball up the middle by Kendrys Morales leading off the 3rd inning (erased on a double play), and a bloop single by Darwin Barney leading off the 5th inning that Melky Cabrera couldn't quite get to. And following that, the last 15 batters of the game went down in a row.

Two crummy hits. Three walks too, if you're looking for any type of silver lining, not that it made a Whit (Merrifield) of difference. No runner even got to second base tonight, as the Jays didn't come close to the realm of seriously threatening much less actually scoring.

That display of ... I'm not sure what to call it, it certainly wasn't offence save perhaps in the sense of being offensive to watch. Anyway, it wasted a good start from J.A. Happ, who went 6.2 innings, allowing the run on 7 hits and 2 walks, with 6 strikeouts. It was far from flawless, but should have been more than enough to propel the Jays to victory, but for that whole offensive ineptitude thing.

One of the mistakes resulted in the run in the 3rd inning. With two out and a runner on, he had Lorenzo Cain in a 1-2 hole, but couldn't finish him off and allowed a sharp line drive single. Cabrera followed up with an RBI single of his own, and that turned out to be the ballgame.

Happ really hit his stride in the 5th, striking out the side in order (four in a row including the last batter of the 4th). He came out for the 7th just under 90 pitches, but couldn't get through the inning as he allowed a hit and then a two out walk to Alex Gordon, pushing his pitch count up to 108.

Dominic Leone came on and got out of the jam, and got the first two batters of the 8th. Of course, it being September, with two out and none out, a pitching change was required to bring in Matt Dermody to face Eric Hosmer. Frankly, even without the platoon advantage I'd probably just stick with an effective Leone, but it worked. Ryan Tepera worked around a leadoff single in the 9th to hold the score a 1-0, though it may as well have been 100-0 the way the bats were going.

That sounds a little bitter. Really, I'm not. I started with Eliot, so I'll end with Vonnegut: so it goes.


Source: FanGraphs

Jays of the Day: Happ (Happ +0.209 WPA), Leone (0.090).

Suckage: Pillar (-0.144), Jose Bautista (-0.136), Josh Donaldson (-0.120), and Urena (-0.118) got hit with the number. But everyone else save Barney (hit and walk) belong.

Tomorrow, the Jays begin the last home series of the year with the Yankees rolling into town at the normal 7:05 EDT start time, Masahiro Tanaka against Marco Estrada. Unfortunately, it's almost certainly too late to do much damage to the Yankees' postseason chances, as they're nine games clear of LAA and seven game clear to host the wild card game. I guess they're only three off the division, but burying them redounds entirely to Boston's benefit, so basically a zero sum game. But beating the Yankees is always fun.